Bihar to do a Gujarat

Alcohol will be banned in Bihar from April 1 next year, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced on Thursday fulfilling a promise he made to women before the assembly elections in the state. “I had made a promise that if my government returned to power we would impose prohibition. The government is committed to fulfil its promise,“ Kumar said at a function on Excise Day.
The erstwhile ruling NDA in Bihar had implemented a liberal excise policy under the earlier government, headed by Kumar himself. This had led to a large number of liquor shops coming up across Bihar and turned into a big issue in the recently concluded assembly elections.
The revenue collection of excise department registered a more than 10-fold jump, from Rs.319 crore in 200506 to Rs.3,650 crore in 2014-15.
The CM said the decision has been taken in the interest of women and poor. Kumar directed to bureaucrats from excise department to implement the decision.
Women had requested Kumar at a function ahead of the October-November assembly polls to stop sale of liquor saying it was ruining their homes and Kumar had promised to do so if he returned to power.
The promise was believed to have paid rich dividends to Kumar in the elections as women voters outnumbered men by nearly five per cent in all five phases of voting.
Announcing prohibition, Kumar said it is seen that a poor family is destroyed due to alcohol addiction of its male member. “We wish to return happiness on the face of such families by imposing the ban.“
He also stressed the role of NGOs in spreading awareness among the people and said those who excelled in it would be awarded.
Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur (in some parts), and Union Territory of Lakshadweep have banned liquor while Kerala has since August 2014 been implementing the ban in a phased manner.

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